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Rental Bidding Wars Are Now Breaking Out in Atwater Village

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We knew the rental market in Los Angeles was getting crazier and crazier, but we didn't know it had gotten "bidding war" crazier. Apparently supply is low enough and demand is high enough in small, hot 'hoods like Atwater Village to spark real competition, at least according to one tipster. This recently remodeled, 700-square-foot bungalow went to market at $3,000 a month this past weekend, which is a lot for two bedrooms and a bathroom, but not entirely outrageous. But that was just the starting price.

According to an anonymous Curbed tipster, the listing agent (and there was a listing agent, not just a manager or landlord) encouraged interested renters to bid above the asking price, as if the bungalow were for sale, and to submit a personalized letter to the owner; he writes that early applicants were given no extra consideration. It all, apparently, came down to money—the tipster claims the winner agreed to pay a security deposit equal to three months of rent and to put down a full year's rent up front.

Rick Yohon, the listing agent for the property, denies he asked prospective tenants to bid on the property, although he did confirm the final rent came out to $3,200 a month—$200 higher than the bungalow was listed for. He also confirms the the security deposit was equivalent to three months rent, but says that's not out of the ordinary for furnished rentals like this one. He would not comment as to whether a year's rent was paid in advance.

The little bungalow is just 697 square feet and recently remodeled by the owner, who picked it up in 2012 for $289,600, according to Redfin. Besides all those furnishings, it came with an eat-in kitchen, a separate office, a landscaped yard (with hammock!), and a garage.

—Ian Grant
· Bungalow Listing [RGI]
· 21 Signs That 2014 Was the Year of LA's Rental Apocalypse [Curbed LA]